Roseanne Barr’s Most Controversial Moments, from Posing as Hitler to Applauding Donald Trump
ABC network canceled the hit Roseanne revival on Tuesday after the show's star a namesake Rosanne Barr tweeted racist comments
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” president of ABC Entertainment Channing Dungey announced in a statement.
The backlash has been fierce since Barr, who has been an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, tweeted a since-deleted attack on former Barack Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, who is black, during a Twitter rant overnight Monday.
“Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj,” she wrote, using Jarrett’s initials in response to a tweeted conspiracy theory about the Obama administration.
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But this certainly isn’t the first time Barr’s behavior and political beliefs have landed the star in hot water.
In 1990, Barr laughed and shrieked her way through the National Anthem at the Cincinnati Reds vs San Diego Padres game when she was asked to sing on the field.
She ended the song by grabbing her crotch and spitting, a move that offended many.
Sexual Abuse Claims
Standing in front of an audience of 1,000 at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Denver in 1991, Barr claimed her parents sexually abused her. “My name is Roseanne,” she said, “and I am an incest survivor.”
The actress said she suppressed the memories until a triggering incident nearly two years earlier caused them to come flooding back. She claimed she had since undergone intensive therapy.
At the time, her parents, Helen and Jerome Barr, denied all the allegations through their attorney. But in 2011, Barr retracted her allegations while appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
“I think it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done,” she said, according to Access. “It’s the biggest mistake that I’ve ever made.”
“Calling it incest?” Oprah asked. “Or going public?”
“Well, both of those things,” she replied. “I was in a very unhappy relationship. I was prescribed numerous psychiatric drugs, incredible mixtures of psychiatric drugs to deal with the fact that I had — and still in some ways have and always will have — some mental illness. And [with] the drugs and the combination of drugs that I was given — which were some strong, strong drugs — I totally lost touch with reality in a big, big way.”
Posing as Hitler
While appearing in a 2009 article in the “Germany” issue of Heeb magazine, a satirical Jewish publication, Barr asked to be photographed dressed as Adolf Hitler for the spread.
According to the article, Barr told the writer she believed she “may, in fact, be the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, whom she has requested to be dressed as for her Heeb photo shoot.”
The photos featured Barr dressed as the Nazi leader while baking cookies.
Barr defended the photo shoot during an appearance on of The Green Room with Paul Provenza, saying she was trying to send a message that tragedies such as the Holocaust have become too common.
“There’s another, deeper layer to it. You know just the everyday. Moving off this Holocaust,” she said. “There’s been about 50 of them since then. That’s what I’m kind of trying to say. Is like, Jesus Christ it’s so f—– every day now, holocausts, it’s like baking cookies.”
Tweeting George Zimmerman’s Parents’ Home Address
Nearly one month after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by police officer George Zimmerman, Barr retweeted a tweet that contained the home address of Zimmerman’s parents.
She then tweeted several other since-deleted messages, including “If Zimmerman isn’t arrested I’ll rt his address again — maybe go 2 his house myself.”
Zimmerman’s parents went on to sue Barr for an invasion of privacy, but the case was thrown out in 2015.
A Run for President
A longtime political progressive, Barr campaigned for the Green Party presidential nomination in 2012.
Her campaign became the subject of the 2015 documentary Roseanne for President! directed by frequent Michael Moore collaborator Eric Weinrib.
“I’m uniquely qualified to serve the American people because I was a waitress for 15 years,” Barr said in the documentary.
But Barr lost, coming in sixth place in the popular vote behind Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode.
Supporting Donald Trump
Barr has been an outspoken Donald Trump supporter both in real life and on her show. She told PEOPLE she voted for Trump in 2016 to “shake things up.”
“I think we need to converse more, but more than anything we need to get involved and run our government for ourselves instead of sitting back and wanting somebody else to do it,” she told PEOPLE. “Even voting isn’t enough. You have to be involved. I talk about this with my grandkids – you have to get in there and get your hands dirty if you want things to go the way you want them to go. We’re lucky in this country that we can do that. We can really get our hands dirty and put our big collective shoulders to the wheel and change and fix things. I think that’s what’s exciting about our country right now.”
After the reboot premiere pulled in an impressive 18.2 million viewers (even more than the original show’s finale 21 years ago), the former Apprentice host — who is known to closely track a TV show’s performance — called Barr to congratulate her.
“It was pretty exciting, I’ll tell you that much,” Barr said during a call to Good Morning America. “They said, ‘Hold please for the President of the United States of America’ and that was about the most exciting thing ever, and it was very sweet of him to congratulate us.”
On March 31, Barr received backlash for tweeting false information about Trump’s exploits. She claimed Trump helped break up a child sex trafficking ring.
“President Trump has freed so many children held in bondage to pimps all over this world. Hundreds each month. He has broken up trafficking rings in high places everywhere. notice that. I disagree on some things, but give him benefit of doubt-4 now.”
The internet was quick to correct her, and the tweet has since been deleted.
One of her other controversial tweets accused a survivor of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, of giving a Nazi salute.
Living with No Regrets
But despite the widespread controversies, Barr recently told PEOPLE she wouldn’t change a thing about her past.
“I just think that there’s a lot of sick people and I don’t want their energy around me. I just let it go – it’s about them, not me,” she said. “They don’t know me. I just let it bounce off and roll my eyes. It doesn’t get to me.”
“Being a stand up comic, you have to have really tough skin. It got to me at first. I remember the first wave if it – because there’s been about 15 of them – the first wave of hate was ‘Wow.’ It was like a tidal wave. It was concerning, but I just got use to it. It comes with the territory…like free drinks. It’s worth it!”